The NHL announced the New Jersey Devils’ Brian Boyle, Florida Panthers’ Roberto Luongo and Carolina Hurricanes’ Jordan Staal as the Bill Masterton Memorial Trophy finalists Saturday for the 2017-18 season. The award is voted on by members of the Professional Hockey Writers Association nominate players who “best exemplifies the qualities of perseverance, sportsmanship and dedication to hockey.” The winner will be announced June 20 during the 2018 NHL Awards in Las Vegas.
Boyle has received quite a lot of exposure already after being diagnosed with chronic myeloid leukemia, a type of bone marrow cancer at the start of training camp this season. The 33-year-old returned to the Devils on Nov. 1 and put up 10 goals in his first 25 games and 13 goals and 23 points in 69 games for the season as a bottom line center for the playoff-bound Devils. He also represented New Jersey at the 2018 all-star game.
Luongo, who has dealt with both hand and groin injuries at age 39 and still produced a solid season with the Panthers. He still played 35 games, picking up 18 wins with a 2.47 GAA and a .929 save percentage. He made an emotional speech on Feb. 22 prior to the game addressing the Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School shooting, honoring the victims.
Staal put up a solid season despite dealing with family tragedy. In late February, Staal and his wife, Heather, announced their daughter Hannah was delivered stillborn due to a terminal birth defect and only missed three games. Staal put up 19 goals and 27 assists this year. The 29-year-old skated in his 800th game and scored his 200th goal this season.